Inauguration of Manuel L. Quezon as President of the Philippine Commonwealth. His inaugural address was his best speech. The Secretary of War also made an admirable address. The ceremonies were perfectly carried out. The crowd was immense, but there was not much shouting. the old walls of Spanish Manila made a picturesque historical background for the memorable transfer of executive authority from the United States to the Philippine government. Military parade was blocked by mobs. Osmeña looked very serious, and very much the gentleman. Altogether, it was a moment of wonderful sentiment for me.
Governor General Murphy now becomes the first American High Commissioner –he left the ceremonies when his own part was finished, and went to his rooms in the Manila Hotel to receive the official call of the Admiral and of the Commanding General there. He told me a few weeks ago it looked as if there might be no inauguration: Aguinaldo was proposing to raise 60,000 men to march on Manila in demonstration of his opposition. He remarked that bloodshed would have been inevitable. I congratulated him on having put his hand to the plough, and then having finished the furrow. The Governor General seemed very tired.
One of the interesting features of the inauguration was the presence there of Quezon’s little son, in uniform with a.d.c. aiguilletes on his right shoulder –an honor paid only to a President or to a Field Marshal. General MacArthur sat next to Doria during the ceremonies.
Dinner for the Secretary of War at President Quezon’s house in Pasay; very well done indeed. Quezon was tired but happy –General MacIntyre, General Cox and Admiral Murfin– Doria sat next to General MacArthur at the table– there was an air of satisfaction among the guests. After dinner, we went to the Inaugural Ball which was opened by President and Mrs. Quezon. The auditorium was not overcrowded –people, especially among the Congressional party were pretty well tired out. Colin Hoskins told me that since this was the most weighty Congressional party ever gathered officially out of Washington, its visit has not only given great weight to the new government among Filipinos but had deeply impressed the “Old Guard” Americans here. The auditorium was beautifully lit and the whole affair in very good taste. Colin hopes that the new High Commissioner will assert American prestige here, and not be merely an “Ambassador.” General MacArthur told Doria that the position of High Commissioner at present was very “nebulous”; that he himself might take it if offered him –combining the duties of that and military adviser. The Secretary of War told Doria how he and the Governor General had visited Aguinaldo in Cavite giving only one hour’s notice of their coming, so that a crowd (of demonstrators) could be avoided –“nevertheless when they arrived at Kawit, there were two thousand people there”!
Saw Jim Ross –full of vigour and life and apparently he has recuperated from his dreadful accident of last January in New York. He told me that the Army-Forbes forces were fighting against me as hard as ever –that Bowditch, Ermin and Weinzheimer were at it. That Ermin had said General MacArthur would quit if I stayed on here. I told him he had better repeat that to Quezon. Jim was full of fight –said I must stay on– that Quezon would never allow the American Army to run his administration –that I had friends here who would stand up for me &c. &c.
Saw former Senator Hawes who is ill with a bad heart –he is managing the Congressional party’s trip, and said that in his studies of Philippine history one of the things that made him angry was my opponents making me out as a Tammany roughneck destroying things out here, instead of my being what he called a “Virginia gentleman.” Said his own bill was changed by the Tydings-McDuffie Act in only two particulars (i) the word “absolute”; (ii) withdrawing the United States Army at the end of ten years. Senator Hawes looks physically very feeble. He says that these people (Filipinos) cannot live with the present economic restrictions, which the United States must modify.
Saw Resident Commissioner Delgado and his wife; they came from America (leaving their children there) at his own expense, in order to accompany the Congressional delegation. A fearful row now on between him and ex-Senator Hawes –he says Hawes directs the Resident Commissioners in Washington, as he is an adviser to the Philippine Government at a “nominal” salary of $5,000 in addition to his $25,000 a year from the Philippine Sugar Growers Association. Delgado says that Hawes bosses the whole Congressional Mission, that he makes it seem part of the sugar lobby; that he (Delgado) is all that prevents the press men from spreading this idea; that the Philippine “Free Press” has just published an article attacking him (Delgado). He threatens that, if he is not sent back as Resident Commissioner, he will expose all this and show up Hawes. Hawes tried to prevent his coming out here. (I used all my best efforts to keep him quiet so as not to cast any discredit on the visitors nor on the government.) I told him finally, that I thought the appointment of the new Resident Commissioner was already settled.
Annual meeting of the Philippine National Guard Association; luncheon at Plaza Hotel, at which I was speaker.
Tea at Jaranilla’s. Mrs. Harry Hawes and Colonel Van Schaick were there. Met Rev. Dr. Lyons, who first suggested to me at Malacañan in 1920 the building of the Balete-pass road into Nueva Vizcaya and he was later the first man to make the trip over the pass by motor. Mrs. Jaranilla told Doria that the argument against woman’s suffrage in the Philippines, was the great influence that such a measure would give to the Church. (N.B. Roxas says the same.)
Went at 7 p.m. to the Manila Club to observe the “two minutes Armistice silence.” Of those who had been present when I attended there with the American Admiral on Nov. 11, 1918, I saw only Stevenson and Gordon. Jim Ross and Colin Hoskins spent the evening with me while Doria went to the Armistice Day dinner dance at the Manila Club. Our conversation was chiefly about arrangements for a reception to be given to the visitors by the American (Democrats) of the Philippines. Also we had much talk about MacArthur and Quezon.
In Senator Hawes’ room I met McDaniels, agent for the American Cordage Trust.
Visit from Rafael Palma —I asked him if Osmeña was friendly to me now—he said “yes— that Osmeña had forgotten the slight resentments of 1918-20. Said Quezon doubted the loyalty of Speaker Paredes during the recent electoral campaign; that the latter was not really a coalitionist—and that Paredes would not be reelected Speaker—probably it would would be Manuel Roxas.
I called on Quezon but found he was closeted with members of the Assembly —probably trying to settle the Speakership fight— so I did not wait. Palma says Paredes will be offered either the Resident Commissionership in Washington, or else a position here as counsel to the Government Corporations.
Called at Sternberg (Military) Hospital to enquire about General Hull & Colonel Mason.
Reception and ball at Malacañan given by the Governor General for the Secretary of War and Mrs. Dern. The large room was practically cut in two by the orchestra; tables on balcony; and dancing on the riverside half of the big room,—but all lights out in dance room making it very gloomy. There was no gaiety perceptible and banks of thirsty men were looking in vain for a drink. The grounds, on the other hand, were too brilliantly illuminated so that all one could see outdoors were lights—no trees or shrubbery were visible.
Secretary of War Dern was affable. General MacArthur whispered in my ear “This place must be full of ghosts for you”.
Went down on Harry Payne’s boat to meet Quezon on the Coolidge. Philippine Flag made for me by Mrs. Vicente Madrigal on the occasion of the repeal of the Flag Law (1916?) at mast head. Quezon in fine form on his way back from the United States where the new Commonwealth Constitution has been signed by President Roosevelt. Took him to H. Payne’s where he talked very frankly before us all of the future of the Commonwealth. Said if he was elected he would secure General MacArthur to prepare for the defense of the Philippines.
As for Japan, he though that country would never try to take the Philippines if they had a strong, well-trained army; that Japs might think it worthwhile only if the Philippines were defenseless. Phil Buencamino was with us; he had come up from Manila to see that the Shanghai police took proper steps for the protection of Quezon whose life had been threatened in the Philippines. (N.B. I supposed this was a result of recent Sakdalista disorders, but back in my mind was a suspicion of the followers of Aguinaldo.) Quezon asked me to come with him to Manila but told him we would wait until after he was elected. He said, “If I am elected, I shall want you to do some work on the Philippines.” He introduced me to Governor General Murphy who was also on the Coolidge. Great cordiality from Murphy who is a fine looking, simple-mannered and upright man. Saw also Quintin Paredes (Speaker) and Miguel Cuaderno, now in the Philippine National Bank, formerly my stenographer.